Thursday, 2 April 2009

CouchSurfing your way around the world

Driving a few extra hours to avoid spending a night in a shady motel; an uncomfortable overnight stop-over at an airport because you wouldn’t know where to go; too little money on the last leg of a trip to be able to enjoy it; or leaving a city with mixed feelings because the tourist spots didn’t do it for you. Those are situations that we have all been exposed to at one point or another during our travels.

I wish I had known about CouchSurfing during those ‘hitches’. CouchSurfing is a website connecting people throughout the world by sparing their extra bed or couch (for free!), thereby offering an affordable way to plan your itinerary but the real attraction of this website is the cultural exchanges taking place between guests and hosts who often go out of their way to provide a meal or offer a guided tour of their city with a local perspective.

Safety features have also been planned out to minimize misadventures and consist mainly of member referrals as well as a system to verify names and addresses. And it all seems to work fine.

The first random search led me to the following referral of a female UK traveler to Santiago de Chile:

“If Carlos ever gets tired of the day job he should become a tour guide (or a bartender thanks to his excellent pisco sours!)! He gave me a wonderful and very thorough tour around Santiago when I surfed his couch there, and I enjoyed every minute of it. He´s a very friendly, informed and easy-going person - thanks so much, Carlos, for your hospitality and help in Chile.”

To date, CouchSurfing has over 1 million members across 232 countries and is growing by the day. All there is left to do now is dig out a map and hit the road! Happy surfing!




  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I think I will leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  2. It sounds like something crazy, but it is a great idea anyways. Any initiative that leads to the pacific coexistence of individuals are beneficial for society. Buy Viagra Viagra

  3. Hi ! i am a member of Couchsurfing since 7 years and i can say how wonderful is this community, even though nothing can never be perfect. I do comics and draw a cartoon on my blog about it, pretty usefull to introduce CS to people who doesnt' know it or for you are a couchsurfers, some situations will probably sounds familiar to you ! hope it helps!